Our Environment.

Take a quick tour of our learning environment in the video below. Equip with a woodwork and construction centre, stage and theatre, mud kitchen, den building kits and fire pit. 


of the day.


9:00 Arrival, play and exploring the environment


9:30 The day begins!

Morning welcome and roll call at the firepit. After this we check the Forest Letterbox and move down to the Home Tree to read the letters and talk about our learning disposition for the day. We share and discuss observations of the changing environment and the teachers then introduce the concepts/experiences that are available. As a group, we begin to collaboratively make our plan for the day.


10:00 Games & Where’s Wally’s Tree

Each week we have a native tree or plant that is a focus for our Where’s Wally’s Tree- similar to the book ‘Where’s Wally’. After examples and distinguishing features and facts are introduced to the children, throughout the day they are on the lookout for the plant. We come back to this at the end of the session. We often have a number of team games and challenges that we play with the children at this time.



Teachers facilitate closely this action packed part of the day. Children usually have a pretty firm plan of what they want to create, do and make such as: whittling, making bows, mixing potions, working with mud or clay, searching for insects, exploring, tree climbing, building tree huts, making dens and teepees, carving, swinging, drama & role play, feeding the animals, woodwork construction, nature art, fire building…and more!


11:30 Skills / Activity Sessions

At this time teachers will offer a selection of 2-3 specific activities or new skills that the children may opt into. These are often related to a student’s idea, request or authentic reason to learn the new skill. Eg: Learning to tie a new knot which will help them with a project they are working on.  


12:30 Beach

The Hatfields Beach estuary and beach is important and one of our favorite parts of our learning day. We explore the rock pools and range of marine life, as well as swim, sail, kayak, and surf. When the tide is right we go on expeditions around the coastline.


2:00 Fire Pit & Campfire Cooking

We all set off to gather brush and different size wood from the forest. Children work together to build a fire safely and they take turns each week to light the fire. A group of children prepare the weekly recipe which is different each session. While we sit and cook our afternoon snack, it is a very special time to discuss our disposition for the day, share and reflect as a group.


3:00 Farewell and presentation of the manaaki stone


*Please Note: These are approximate times and a general structure of our day. We need to be flexible and allow the children to lead their learning depending on what they are inspired by. When you work with children- anything can happen! Our day is subject to change!

**Eating Times: We do not stop for a set eating time. Our philosophy is that the children eat when they are hungry, so we encourage them to become good self managers and listen to their bodies when they need to be refuelled. This allows for a high level of engagement during tasks because the children are not required to stop at an unnatural time during their work. Children often eat a lot first thing in the morning and many graze throughout the day.

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There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing.
— Alfred Wainwright